Azerbaijan, Baku, 3 November/ Trend / On 2 November, Presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia signed a declaration on the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Trend interviewed the following leading political scientists of the region.
Question: To what extent will the declaration accelerate settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
Spokesman for Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry Khazar Ibrahim: Joint declaration by Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian Presidents on the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a significant document which reflects all aspects of talks. There is no need to look for something new in signing of the document. The talks still continue and the document indicates their significance. Foundation is needed to be laid to shift to next stage. Oral statements are usually followed by the signing of a document. Therefore, it was necessary to sign the document. Azerbaijan is determined to continue talks. The next stages of the talks are not known yet.
Independent political scientist of Azerbaijan Zardusht Alizade: The declaration signed by Presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia does not actually mean anything. It says that the resolution must be carried out under international law, but it does not specify - whether right to self-determination or territorial integrity.
President of Social Research Fund of Azerbaijan Rashad Rzaguliyev: These talkswere held only with Russia's mediation. OSCE Minsk Group is a group of interests which are incompatible today. The balance of powers in the region was disturbed as a result of which Russia undertook responsibility to solve this conflict with all consequences arising from it
Sergey Markov, Director of Political Studies Institute of Russia and member of the Russia State Duma (parliament): Russia wants to reduce presence of foreign players, in particular the United States, in the region. Because, it has assumed major role in the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This document is a declaration of intentions which will prevent war. It is also Russia's intentions to help cooperation and become stabilizing factor in the region. The absence of war is first of all favorable for Azerbaijan as it is developing with higher growth rates than Armenia. But all parties feels there is benefit in different contexts.
Georgian political scientist Archil Gegeshidze: Russia want toimprove harmed image of its peacekeepers in Georgia and accelerating resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is due to this fact. Russia has damaged image of its peacekeepers to a great extent who exceeded the necessary measures towards Georgia, the fact the West also stated and resort to aggression, the opinion which many share in West.
political scientist of Azerbaijan Vafa Guluzade: There was no need to
sign this declaration as it was apparent that Azerbaijan is not going to
attack on Armenia to liberate its lands. Because Armenia has an agreement
with Russia on military cooperation according to which Russia can fight against Azerbaijan on legal basis in case of Azerbaijan's attack.
Most likely, it was Russia's move toward the West and United States, as if it works over this issue, whilst they just drag out the time. The document is profitable only for Armenia and Russia. If earlier Armenia could suspect that Azerbaijan can attack, now they got the document and can sleep quietly.
Independent political scientist Rustam Mammadov: The declaration did not include any concrete thing, so it is difficult to speak about its practical use. The Azerbaijani President looked more satisfied than his Armenian counterpart during document signing ceremony. Therefore, may be, I think Russia has begun to take measures on settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for our benefit.
I hope this document will be successful step, although declaration is only statement on intentions. On the background of the latest developments, signing of declaration is a progressive step. The conflict can be settled only through one mediator. Thus, presence of competing mediators will prevent normal work on the settlement.
Chairman of opposition Democratic Reform Party of Azerbaijan, MP Asim Mollazade: The declaration is a piar-action of the Russian President. After the latest developments in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Russia desired to demonstrate its intention actively to take part in solution of the frozen conflicts, whilst in reality, the declaration is not a serious step towards the settlement process.
If a schedule on withdrawal of the Armenian troops from the Azerbaijani occupied territories were specified, then we could speak about serious intention of Russia in achievement of peace.
Deputy Chairman of Standing Commission of the Azerbaijani Parliament Gultakin Hajiyeva: Russia as a country involved in the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, finally, undertook initiative of its settlement. It is too early to speak about the result of this initiative, while presence of definite initiatives in this direction can be assessed as a positive step by Russia.
Chairman of the opposition Democratic Party of Azerbaijan Sardar Jalaloglu: The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be settled only after determining influence zones of huge states in the South Caucasus region ends. At present this process reached its peak level.
If Russia, which occupied territories of Georgia, threatens Azerbaijan that this country can face with such threat, the Moscow negotiations will not be fruitful in settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Moscow has organized the meeting to justify its aggressive actions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as to divert attention of the international community. It is inappropriate to think about positive influence of such meetings on settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at the current stage.
Member of Political Council of the Ruling New Azerbaijan Party Aydin Mirzazade: Activation of Russia in settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will accelerate its solution. Signing of declaration means acceptance of juridical obligations, which is a positive milestone. Armenian repeatedly violated international principles and this declaration will be an obstacle for this country. The declaration has included majority of principles, which were put forward by Azerbaijan, particularly, solution of the conflict in line with the international principles and its negative influence of development of the region.
R.Novruzov, A.Huseynbala and I.Alizade contributed to this survey.
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